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VARbuzz: Study: US drilling doesn’t affect gas prices

Worried about gas prices, oh ye who drive all over town? Not surprising — for the first time, they’re higher than they were at the price peak in 1981. (Well, I’m not counting 1918.)

Unfortunately, what a lot of us hoped would help ease prices — more domestic drilling/production — turns out not to make a difference at all.

The Associated Press ran the numbers, comparing gasoline prices to U.S. production. And it found that domestic production has no effect on prices. Zilch. In fact, since February 2009, our oil production has increased 15 percent … and we all see what happened to gas prices.

As a Minnesota Public Radio story put it,

That’s because oil is a global commodity and U.S. production has only a tiny influence on supply. Factors far beyond the control of a nation or a president dictate the price of gasoline.

More drilling can mean more jobs, and that’s a good thing. But if you’re thinking that it’s going to lower gas prices, that turns out not to be the case.

As Judith Dwarkin, chief energy economist at ITG investment research put it, “Drill, baby, drill has nothing to do with it.”